John Kenneth "Coach Mr. K" Kesterson

  • Born: November 11, 1927
  • Died: July 25, 2014
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center Market Street

635 E. Market St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202

info@flannerbuchanan.com
Tel. (317) 387-7000

Tribute & Message From The Family


John Kenneth "Coach K" Kesterson, 86, of Indianapolis passed away on July 25, 2014. He was born in Indianapolis on Nov. 11th, 1927, to the late James "Pete" and Florence (née Graf) Kesterson. He graduated from St. Roch Catholic Grade School in 1941 and Southport High School in 1945. The day after high school graduation, he enlisted in United States Marine Corps, serving honorably from 1945-1948. As a light infantry Marine attached to the 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines, John was one of the first troops ashore to occupy Japan at the end of World War II. He was also the kicker for the USMC football team, playing in the 1946 "Atom Bowl" in Nagasaki with Angelo Bertelli and Bill Osmanski. Honorably discharged, he returned home and fell in love with Rita A. Raftery, marrying the love of his life in 1950. Together John and Rita lovingly raised 10 children, spending most of their lives on the southside of Indianapolis. They were charter members of St. Jude Catholic Church and owners of Keystone T.V. and Appliances. For over 60 years John spent much of his free time coaching various baseball, kickball, softball, and volleyball teams to numerous championships for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Peace Games, and several High Schools; finishing with Cathedral High School Volleyball in 2014. For his volunteer efforts he was awarded the CYO Monsignor Busald Award in 1975, the CYO St. John Bosco Medal in 1982, the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association (ICGSA) 30 Year Service Award in 2002, the Cathedral High School Distinguished Service Award in 2010, and the College Mentor for Kids Inspire Award for Athletics in 2010. John is preceded in death by his loving wife Rita, brothers Stewart and Vernon, infant sisters Eline and "Baby", and grandchild Jonathan Holbrook. He is survived by his sister Sr. James Michael "Mildred" Kesterson, SP, his 10 children: Helen (Beth) Kesterson-Yates; Kathleen (Dan) Morrison; Jean Kesterson; Therese (Lawrence) Holbrook; Rita (Joseph) Maguire; Joyce (Stephen) Burke; Patricia (Charles) Souhrada; Karen Kesterson-Bueno; John W. (Ann) Kesterson; Mary (Jamey) Smith; 23 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. Visitations will be at St. Jude Catholic Church, 5353 McFarland Rd. on Monday July 28th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM and Tuesday July 29th at 10:00 AM, immediately followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods (www.spsmw.org) or the Cathedral High School Volleyball team (www.cathedral-irish.org). Arrangements were entrusted to Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center – Market Street.

You are invited to go to the Guest Book page to pass along your personal message or tell a story.

Sincerely,

-Your friends at Flanner and Buchanan


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

Dear Michele and Danielle-
"Those we love don't go away. They walk beside us everyday. Unseen, unheard but always near. Still loved, still missed and forever dear." My deepest sympathy.

Posted by Julie Muse - Fairland, IN   August 01, 2014

Candle

Michele- my deepest sympathy in the passing of your beloved grandfather. I am sure you and your family have many happy memories to help you through this difficult time. Julie Muse

Posted by Julie Muse - Fairland, IN - Friend of Michele Bueno   July 31, 2014

Candle

I will sure miss you Mr. K. To all the Kesterson Family-- I loved being a part of his life. He was a great coach, mentor, and friend for over 40 years. Thanks for sharing him with us. Thanks for being good friends too especially you Joyce . Love you all. This wonderful Rinkydink guy is now reunited with the love of his life. Tell Mrs. K and Mom and Dad hi for me Mr. K. I will love you forever!!

Posted by Alyson Challis Gurganus - Indianapolis, IN - Friend and Former Player   July 30, 2014

We are so sorry to hear of John's passing. We all have such great memories of the times our families spent together. All of you are in our prayers.
The Rosa family

Posted by Bev Rosa-Vehling - Greenwood, IN   July 30, 2014

Candle

John was the nicest man; its been a pleasure to know him and his lovely family at St. Johns, we will miss him and his smile and great spirit at church and will always remember him with love and respect. Scott Alloway and his mom Susan Alloway

Posted by Susan Alloway - Indianapolis, IN - friend from St. Johns.   July 29, 2014

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Kathy may you know that we are thinking of you and your Families in this time of great loss. I can only laugh of the good times he and my Mom and Dad had and now will continue in Gods glory. Our love to all.

Posted by Armborst Family - Eagan, MN - Friends of the Family   July 29, 2014

So sorry to hear the passing of John. He and I had many fun conversations as related to volleyball. He was full of wisdom and great insights. My deepest sympothies to the family. John will be truilly missed but our memories of our times together will live on.

Posted by Mark Slaton - Greenwood, IN - Fellow volleyball coach   July 29, 2014

Our deepest sympathy. What an honor to have known and played volleyball with him offering his coaching to make everyone a little better everyday. May God hold the Kesterson family tightly and open His arms to a faithful servant that is coming home.

Posted by Kate Buchanan Journay - Indianapolis, IN - Family friend   July 29, 2014

Your dad was a great guy and wonderful dad. From his love to his own kids and his faithful german shepherd, to all the kids he cared for all his life. You are all blessed to have him and your mom and each other. Love you all and I am so sorry I am out of town. Blessing from above are plentiful for all of you.

Posted by Kathy Jackaon Able - Indianapolis, IN - friend   July 29, 2014

My thoughts and prayers are with your family . Both of my children's lives were truly blessed by knowing your Dad.

Posted by Stephanie Mackall - Fishers, IN - Friend   July 29, 2014

Candle

Karen - What an amazing courageous man. My thoughts are with you. Love and prayers, Karen M.

Posted by Karen Mobley - Franklin, IN - Friend   July 29, 2014

Candle

Karen,
I am so sorry to hear about your dad. You are in my prayers.
Evonne

Posted by Evonne - indianapolis, IN - friend   July 28, 2014

Prayers of comfort surround you and your family.

Posted by Cathy McFarlane - Indianapolis, IN - Friend   July 28, 2014

Candle

My deepest Sympathy goes out to the family & friemds of this wonderful man in their time of sorrow. How blessed you must have been to have been a part of this mans life.You are all in my prayers.

Posted by Laura Richardson - Shelbyville, IN - Co-worker of daughter, Karen   July 28, 2014

I've heard great things about Mr. Kesterson from his daughter, Rita. He's been a wonderful example of how we should live and is leaving a great legacy. May peace be with you all as you celebrate the life of this great individual.

Posted by Deborah Morgan - Indianapolis, IN   July 28, 2014

Rita and family, Sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I'll keep you in my prayers. Pam

Posted by Pam Smith - Plainfield, IN   July 28, 2014

Jean & Kesterson family ... my heart is filled with wonderful memories of your dad dating all the way back to our Ball State days. His passion for sport (volleyball) & working with young people is an example to us all to purposefully live our lives with meaning. There is a quote that I share often that reflects your precious father: "Behind every success is effort. Behind every effort is passion. Behind every passion is someone with the courage to try." A coach instills belief into their athlete, paving the way with trust to pursue their dreams without hesitation. Your father gave that gift to so many, including me. Much love and prayers for you & family! Is. 40-31

Posted by Jona Braden - Atlanta, GA   July 28, 2014

Coach Kesterson left a lasting imprint in my life in just one 7th grade basketball season! May all your Kesterson hearts be lifted by the prayers of the many other impressionable individuals Coach K came across during his many years of giving. PEACE!

Posted by Jeanene Swiezy - Indianapolis, IN   July 28, 2014

To the Kesterson Family, I offer my payers at this time of your loss. May peace surround your family as you send John home. Because I am out of town on vacation, I cannot join you in person, but will pray with you in spirit.
Peace, Fr. Noah J. Casey

Posted by Fr. Noah J. casey - Indianapolis, IN   July 28, 2014

How blessed your dad was to be loved so much and to have touched the lives of so many others. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and afterward.

Posted by Ted, Kim, Rachael & Michael Souhrada - Le Claire, IA - Patty's brother & sister-in-law   July 28, 2014

Feeling so blessed to have known and been coached by such a wonderful man. Keeping the entire Kesterson family in our prayers!

Posted by Kristen Cheesman Armitage - Clarendon Hills, IL - Cathedral volleyball '93-'96   July 28, 2014

Dear Kesterson Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I went to high school with Helen, and my memory is your mom and dad letting us build a float for homecoming in your garage. Kind and generous people. Most recently, I saw your dad as a pt at the hospital - and was touched by his fortitude and strength in the face of incredible obstacles. My thoughts are with all of you as you move through this transition. Janette Hoovler Johnson

Posted by Janette Johnson - Greenwood, IN - friend   July 28, 2014

You will be dearly missed Coach. You were such a kind man and wonderful teacher. Prayers for the family.

Posted by Melissa (Fischer) Harmeling    July 28, 2014

Mother Teresa once said that everyone we meet should be better for having met us. Hundreds, if not thousands, of us are better for having had John cross our paths over a long and well-lived life. He was truly a role model for so many of us. I believe that the only question we will be asked on the day of judgement is did we make our little corner of the world a better place? John made a large corner of the world a much better place. He will be dearly missed, but very fondly and frequently remembered.

Posted by Larry Leonhardt    July 27, 2014

Sorry to hear of your loss. May the blessings of God be upon you and your family.

Posted by Joe Frappier - Indianapolis, IN   July 27, 2014

Helen (and family) I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was such a nice man. (He fixed our TV many times) And I remember that time we built the senior float at your house (for CHS '69) Anyway - it's funny that when we are kids we don't ask about each other's parents. I had no idea your dad was a war hero. I wonder if MY dad knew that. They could have had a lot to discuss about their WWII days. Maybe they did and I just didn't know it. But I know how proud of him you all are. I lost both of my parents and know how painful it is. You were blessed to have a wonderful childhood.

Posted by Mary Papesh Wood - Indianapolis, IN   July 27, 2014

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It was an honor to work with John as one of his occupational therapists. He was one of my favorites and always had a positive and motivated attitude no matter the obstacle. Thoughts and prayers for his whole family.

Posted by Ellen Jones - Indianapolis, IN - Occupational therapist   July 27, 2014

Helen and all the Kesterson children my sympathy to all of you. Your dad was the best not just for you but for the many people he came in contact with daily. God bless you during this time of mourning.

Posted by Eva Corsaro - State College, PA   July 27, 2014

Kathy, my thoughts are with you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Marianne - Indianapolis, IN - Friend   July 27, 2014

My thoughts and prayers are with the Kesterson family.

Posted by Anna Marie Heidenreich - Indianapolis, IN   July 27, 2014

It was an honor to have met such an incredible coach and man. John had a special soul that you could see, feel, and hear every time you spoke to him. My family's thoughts and prayers go out to Jean, all of the Kesterson family, and the countless number of athletes who were inspired by John.
- Matt Affolder Flagler College Volleyball

Posted by Matt Affolder - St. Augustine, FL - Volleyball Friend   July 27, 2014

Jean and Family: We were so honored and blessed to have known Coach "K". With his gentleness,soft spoken voice and kindness he was a role model for everyone who knew him. Our family has so many wonderful memories of John and will cherish them forever. Thank you to the entire Kesterson family for sharing your dad and grandpa with all of us.

Jenny Matthews Family
Amanda Matthews Archey
Tracy Matthews Aszkler
Christy Matthews Bailey

Posted by Jenny Matthews - Indianapolis, IN - Friend   July 26, 2014

I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing. He sounded like a wonderful man! Praying for comfort during this difficult time.

Posted by Sheila Wilcher - Indianapolis, IN - Friend   July 26, 2014

John, blessed to have been a friend. God bless!

Posted by Jack Stanton - Fishers, IN - Friend   July 26, 2014

TO ALL THE KESTERSON FAMILY.... YOU ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.
BECKY( DEER) MARTIN

Posted by BECKY( DEER) MARTIN - GREENWOOD, IN - FRIEND   July 26, 2014

What a wonderfully blessed life. I believe Coach knows the extent of his influence on others in his life. Great man and role model. Always a kind word. You and your family are in the prayers of the Cathedral Football Family and the Streiff family

Posted by Rick Streiff - Indianapolis, IN   July 26, 2014

Candle

God truly blessed me the day I met Karen, you & Rita, and the entire Kesterson Clan! You and Rita are my "other Mother and Father" and your family are "my family." Words cannot express what I hold in my heart and my sincere and heartfelt thanks for all the kindness, advice, lessons, support, laughs, cries, wonderful memories, and all the love that you and your family have given me. What I didn't have or get at home, you, Rita, and the rest of the family gave me by welcoming me with open arms and for that I am, and will be forever be grateful. I feel your love - every day, every minute and every second! I would not be who I am today without you! It is said as we shed tears for our loss here on earth that those in Heaven shed tears of joy and happiness at your arrival, and that brings my heart and soul solace. Although my heart aches you are not here anymore, I know you are in a much better place and with the love of your life - Mom Rita, and that makes me smile!

May the road rise up to greet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft on your fields and until we meet again, may God hold in you in the palm of his hand!

Keep on "coaching" and enjoy "running" in Heaven! My love to you and Rita....forever!

Posted by Jackie Murphy - Indianapolis, IN - "other" daughter   July 26, 2014

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May each of you find courage to face tomorrow as you rest in the knowledge that we truly care about each of your needs and that we will walk beside you in your journey of grief.

Eddie Beagles and the Staff of Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center - Market Street

Posted by Eddie Beagles - Indianapolis, IN - Funeral Director   July 26, 2014

He had a wonderful full life, very blessed and very much loved. My heart and prayers go out to all of his wonderful children.

Posted by Kim Biegalski - Naperville, IL - Friend   July 26, 2014

Have many fond memories of Coach K. So sorry for your loss prayers of peace and comfort.

Posted by Dawn Dugan Holtrey - Fishers, IN   July 26, 2014

The Queally family was truly blessed to have Mr. K and the entire Kesterson family in their lives. We remember the first time we saw Coach Mr. K at a parent meeting you could barely hear him speak. But that soft voice controlled the entire audience especially the girls on any team he ever coached. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jean and family

Posted by Janet & Jack Queally - Carmel, IN - Cathedral Family   July 26, 2014

I am so sorry for your loss Helen. You and all your family will be in my thoughts and Prayers.

Posted by Bruce Jennings - Indy, IN - Friend   July 26, 2014

I will be forever grateful for the life lessons Mr Coach taught my 3 children AND me! God gave us a special gift knowing him and our other Kesterson friends. I imagine Rita was jumping up and down with joy waiting at the pearly gates to walk into heaven with him!! Sending you all, big hugs & love!! Julie, Caroline, Connor & Olivia Lemke

Posted by Juie Lemke - Carmel, IN - Cathedral Friend   July 26, 2014

Sounds like such a wonderful life! Very full!! Thinking of him and his family!!! Peace and love be with you all!

-The Lyons

Posted by Phylicia - Indianapolis, IN - Co-worker of daughter   July 26, 2014

Jean, What an amazing life your dad led and all the lives he touched along the way. I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your will be in my thoughts and prayers! God bless!

Posted by Linda Christy - Greencastle, IN - Friend   July 26, 2014

I'm not sure I could have possibly fully appreciated John, Rita, and the whole Kesterson family as a teenager, but looking back I'm so completely grateful to have known their warmth, love, and appreciation for hard work and family. Thinking of all of you.

Posted by Sarah Stephens - London - Cathedral volleyball 1998   July 26, 2014

I was honored to know John and Rita Kesterson. What a family! He is at rest now but he will sorely be missed. Judy Harkness

Posted by Judy Harkness - Indianapolis, IN - friend   July 26, 2014

Candle

Coach K was a great man and a great coach. I'm honored to have learned from him. Our prayers go out to the entire Kesterson family.

Posted by Gina Kuntz Fleming - Indianapolis, IN - Former player   July 26, 2014

Coach K. was such a role model for our children who played volleyball for him at Cathedral! His gentle heart and spirit showed them what is important in life....will miss you Coach! You are all in our prayers.

Posted by Dave and Nancy Cheesman - INDIANAPOLIS, IN - friend   July 26, 2014

To the Kesterson family: We are proud to be related by marriage to your wonderful parents and to all of you. John and Rita were an example for us in their lives and in their passing, and now they are together again for eternity. Thanks to them for sharing their daughter Patty with our family. God bless you all!

Posted by Penny and Michael Souhrada - LeClaire, IA - Patty's in-laws   July 26, 2014

Candle

One of the best coaches I ever had the pleasuring of knowing! Motivating, kind, and an awesome role model! I feel very fortunate to have played for, and assisted him in coaching!

Posted by Julie - Richmond, VA - Friend   July 26, 2014

Dear Kesterson Family,
There are few things more difficult than dealing with the loss of a loved one. I am honored that you have chosen our family to care for your family during this time. Please let me know if there is more we can do to help celebrate your loved-one's life.

My Warmest Regards,

Bruce W. Buchanan
4th Generation Owner
Since 1881
info@flannerbuchanan.com

Posted by Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers - Indianapolis, IN   July 26, 2014


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Dear Kesterson Family, There are few things more difficult than dealing with the loss of a loved one. I am honored that you have chosen our family to care for your family during this time. Please let me know if there is more we can do to help celebrate your loved-one’s life. My Warmest Regards, Bruce W. Buchanan 4th Generation Owner Since 1881 info@flannerbuchanan.com
I will be forever grateful for the life lessons Mr Coach taught my 3 children AND me! God gave us a special gift knowing him and our other Kesterson friends. I imagine Rita was jumping up and down with joy waiting at the pearly gates to walk into heaven with him!! Sending you all, big hugs & love!! Julie, Caroline, Connor & Olivia Lemke